Drogba talks about Chelsea, Mourinho, Champions League

The former Blues striker will face his ex-employers this week and has been reminiscing about his time in west London.

As Chelsea take on Galatasaray in the Champions League knock-out rounds, a familiar face will pose the majot threat for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Didier Drogba will lead the line for the Turkish giants and is set to face his former club for the first time since departing in the summer of 2012.

Ahead of the first leg, the Ivory Coast international has been talking about his former club and a manager he respects – Jose Mourinho.

“Six months before agreeing to join Chelsea I saw him (Mourinho) at a Porto-Marseille game,” the African told The Daily Mail.

“He slapped me behind the head and said, “Do you have some brothers who play like you?” And I said there are a lot in Africa who are better than me.

“The year that I left for Chelsea, it was the first time that I had been playing in the Champions League and my second year in the top French league, so I was not sure if I could make it.

“Then this guy comes and says, “You have to come with me. I want to make you one of the best strikers in the Premier League”.

“Imagine me. Of course I want to be one of the best. But I’m young. It feels like a risk. I didn’t want to leave Marseille; I was the king. To stay would be the safe choice.

“But he sold it to me. He said, “You are a good player but if you want to be the best then come and play for me”.

“I was impressed. I saw someone who was really confident. And from what I saw with Porto, I thought maybe I should trust him. I wanted to be like one of the strikers he had had at Porto. So I decided that I would go for it.”

Drogba went on to state that the winning mentality was bred through Chelsea and that the group of players were incredibly focussed.

“In the team, we had a group of 24, sometimes 26 players, and 20 of them could have been captain of their national teams,” Drogba continued.

“This is something really special that we had. You cannot achieve what we did, when the manager has been changed, without being together.

“But I learned so much working with Jose. He’s one of the best, if not the best, of all the managers I’ve worked with.

“He educated us to hate losing. Sometimes, in training, you could play three or four games of five minutes without a goal. It shows you the intensity of training.

“Everyone was so focused. When you conceded a goal, you could see JT (John Terry) shouting and kicking the post like he was losing a very important game.

“It was only training, so imagine when you have that spirit in a competitive game. We refused to lose.”

Drogba has been rumoured as a possible target for Chelsea as a coach, and there is sure to be some nostalgia when he faces his former club for Galatasaray.

image: © Ben Sutherland

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch